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LEONARDO DA VINCI by Kathleen Krull Kirkus Star


From the Giants of Science series

by Kathleen Krull & illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-670-05920-X
Publisher: Viking

Debuting a new series, Krull presents a compelling argument that the great painter of the Renaissance was one of the West’s first real modern scientists. Into the stew of superstition that passed for scientific thought in medieval Europe was born Leonardo, illegitimate and therefore only very sketchily schooled, he grew up largely on his own, rambling around his family’s property and observing nature. The portrait that emerges is of a magpie mind: He studied and thought and wrote about very nearly everything. The breezy text draws heavily from Leonardo’s own writings, discussing his groundbreaking forays into anatomy, water management and flight, always propelled by a commitment to direct scientific observation. That Krull manages, in some 100-plus text pages, to present Leonardo’s scientific accomplishments while at the same time conveying a sense of the man himself—his probable homosexuality is presented frankly, as are his pacifism and the overriding opportunism that had him designing weapons of war for the Duke of Milan—is no mean feat and bodes well for the succeeding volumes in the series. (appendix, bibliography, Web sites, index) (Biography. 10-14)